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Boyfriend’s sudden ghosting causes hurt and confusion

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I am dealing with the worst heartbreak ever. I don't know what I did to make my boyfriend stop liking me. He won't talk to me or text me back, and now he has blocked me on Facebook. One minute he said that he would always hang out with me and the next he told me to stop messaging him and blocked me. All of this has made me go out of control, and now I want to hate on everyone. How can I stop this awful hurt? -- LOVE HURTS IN OREGON

DEAR LOVE HURTS: Before I answer that question, I want to weigh in on your signature, "Love Hurts." What I need to impress upon you is, love doesn't hurt. Real love makes people feel better.

It's time to stop asking yourself what you did wrong to be getting the treatment he is doling out. Allow me an educated guess: He may feel guilty because he met someone else and doesn't have the courage to own up to it. Time will tell if I'm right.

The way to soothe this ache and refrain from lashing out at others would be to remember they are blameless. By taking your pain out on them, you are isolating only yourself. Get rid of any mementos that remind you of him. If a song reminds you of him, don't play it again. Keep yourself busy. Focus on other things and talk with your friends and family about your feelings. If you do, you will soon realize that others have experienced the same disappointment you have. And, above all, remember that although this experience may have been romantic for a while, it has run its course.

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my husband since 2009. In 2017 we had a surprise baby, who is now 2 years and 9 months old.

Connecting as a couple was getting difficult before the pregnancy, but now that we have this cute, extremely energetic child, we don't connect at all. If I don't ask for a kiss, I don't get one. If I don't ask for sex, it would never happen. I have to initiate everything.

I have mentioned this issue many times but nothing changes. The only conversation he wants to have is about the news or what he did at work. If I try to talk about anything else, he gives me brief answers and moves to a different subject. I'm bored in this marriage and tired of not getting any kind of romance at all. Help! -- ROOMMATE OR ROMANCE?

DEAR R. OR R.: Your husband may be as overwhelmed by parenthood as you are, and concerned about providing for this "surprise" baby, which is why he has distanced himself. Your relationship could also have been winding down before your pregnancy happened. I am not sure a regularly scheduled date night can bring you two back in sync, but a licensed marriage and family therapist may be able to reopen the lines of communication between you.

DEAR ABBY: I am hoping for advice regarding my relationship with my father and his children. I met my dad and his much younger second family when I was 24. I have never felt close to any of them, and 10 years later, nothing has changed.

Dad lives across the country and is now terminal because of his alcoholism. My siblings are telling me I need to see him before he dies. I don't feel an obligation to do that, but I also feel guilty for not feeling bad.

I don't feel much connection with my siblings either, and am pretty sure that once my father passes, communication will cease completely. Should I reach out and try to rekindle a relationship before he passes? Do I owe him that? -- UNCERTAIN IN MAINE

DEAR UNCERTAIN: It may be a little late to rekindle a relationship with your father, who was absent during such a large chunk of your life. This may be the reason you aren't grieving his approaching death. That said, if there is anything you feel you might like to say to your father that has not been said -- and I'll bet there is plenty -- it might be in your own best interests to have a final conversation or two with him. It's not that you owe it to him; you owe it to yourself.

DEAR ABBY: My niece is being married very soon. I wasn't invited to her originally planned church wedding, but due to the coronavirus, she's now doing a Zoom wedding, and I have received an electronic invitation. Should I send her a wedding gift or is it not required/expected since we weren't included in the original wedding plans? -- TIMELY DILEMMA IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR T.D.: If you want to maintain a relationship with your niece, send her a gift with a sweet note wishing her a lifetime of happiness with her new spouse. If not, then decline.

DEAR ABBY: I have three beautiful daughters. The oldest moved to Wisconsin some years ago. About a year ago, my middle daughter went to visit her. My older daughter said something about politics that the younger one didn't like, and since then the younger one refuses to communicate with her, which is breaking my heart. My older daughter asked if I could help by talking to her. They used to be close and now this.

I tried talking to the younger one. She said she loves her older sister and for me to let her handle it. She promised she would contact her. It has been three months and -- nothing. What can I do? -- MOM REFEREE IN OREGON

DEAR MOM REFEREE: Too many things have become politicized lately, and it is to the detriment of relationships both personal and professional. If "change begins at home," let it start with you. Step back, stop counting the days and refuse to be put in the middle of this. Whatever their disagreement was, the problem is theirs to resolve, not yours.

DEAR ABBY: A few months ago, new neighbors moved in next door. They have been very nice and helpful. I work a lot, so they have done things like grab packages or take care of little things like bringing in my trash can.

I have thanked them many times, but three weeks ago I decided to do something extra special. I bought a lovely thank-you card and put a $100 restaurant gift card inside. I knocked on their door and handed it to the husband.

Abby, I haven't received any type of thank-you from them. I don't want to seem petty, but part of me is hurt by their lack of acknowledgment. They have my number, and I'm obviously home at a certain hour of the day. Do you think that because they helped me out, they felt they deserved my gift and a thank-you wasn't necessary? I am at the point where I no longer want them to do anything for me. Am I being petty, or do I have a right to feel hurt? -- UNAPPRECIATED IN NEW YORK

DEAR UNAPPRECIATED: Yes, you are being petty. You are essentially bemoaning not getting a thank-you for a thank-you. Your neighbors may not have said anything because they were overwhelmed by your generosity. The next time you see the husband or the wife, ask if your display of gratitude may have made them uncomfortable. But in the interest of good relations, please stop judging them as harshly as you have.

DEAR ABBY: My sister was spring cleaning recently and came across a 14-karat gold crucifix pendant she had found in front of our family's house decades ago. Being nonreligious, my sister didn't know what to do with it. She didn't want to be disrespectful by improperly disposing of it, so she kept it. I offered it to someone I know, but she doesn't need another crucifix, so I'd like to know what should be done with it. Is there an organization that handles this sort of thing? -- RESPECTFULLY NOT RELIGIOUS

DEAR R.N.R.: If selling the crucifix doesn't interest you, contact the nearest Christian church and talk to someone there about donating it so it can be given to someone who needs it, such as a recent convert or a newly confirmed young person. I am sure your offer would be appreciated.